Before I start this story I would just like to say that the 2017 Concours of Elegance was truly brilliant…
It wasn’t a great morning, the hotel had a fire alarm at 5am, I banged my head in the shower and then attempted to nurse a poorly Porsche 911 across London to Hampton Court. Parking ten minutes walk away and paying £10 for the privilege, then getting lost in Hampton Court due to a lack of signage, i was ready to turn back. Then i walked out in to automotive nirvana, in seconds all was forgiven!
The quality of the cars this year was impressive, the first car ever to emerge from coachbuilders, Frua, the Fiat 1100 Frua Spider and the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Rollback, both immaculate and beautiful set a high benchmark.
The Best in Show-winning Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna wears a body by the Italian coachbuilder, Castagna, which was in fact originally crafted for an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Lungo. In 1935, on instructions from Vittorio and Bruno Mussolini, sons of the Italian dictator, it was transferred to the shortened chassis of a V8-engined Lancia Astura Series 2. The Mussolini brothers briefly raced the car under the banner of Scuderia Parioli. It’s hard to think this car was raced, looking so graceful and delicate in the early autumn light. The colour, a currently trendy grey with a green hue.
There’s no denying that the Jaguar stole the show with five D-Types on display. Finishing the Le Mans 24Hr race 60 years ago in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. All podium-finishing cars arrived in convoy alongside D-Type XKD 504, which went to Le Mans in 1955 and 1958, and XKD 605 which finished 6th at Le Mans in 1956.
Personally I never tire of seeing the Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport ‘Baillon Barn Find’, which wears the faded and cracked paint it was discovered with when it was unearthed in 2014. A patina that is simply unrivalled, maximum respect to Jonathan Segal for keeping the car so authentic. My star of the show.
The collection of cars over the course of the weekend was simply in a class of its own with no other event in the UK that i can think of coming close to the level of quality on display.
We hope you enjoy our gallery from Friday.
The venue for the Concours of Elegance 2017 will be announced in the coming week.